The University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union (CSU) have been awarded the NUS Responsible Futures accreditation. This reflects the institution and Students’ Union’s commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility, across the formal and informal curriculum.
Responsible Futures certification is awarded to a whole institution in recognition of fostering an environment where sustainability learning can thrive. The Responsible Futures accreditation mark provides a framework that helps cultivate institutional change and develops social norms around Education for Sustainable Development in both the formal and informal curriculum.
The University, in partnership with the CSU was one of 13 UK institutions to take part in the Responsible Futures pilot this year, achieving full accreditation at the end of a two-day audit that assessed how well the partnership embeds sustainability in all of its activities. NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) Piers Telemacque commented “We need our graduates to meet the challenges of the century ahead of us, not to repeat the mistakes of the decades behind us. That’s why I’m so thrilled that the University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union have been accredited with the Responsible Futures mark.
The audit comprised of three components a workbook submitted by the Partnership, outlining its compliancy against 40 sustainability criteria, ten of which are mandatory. The second component of the audit comprised interviews with key individuals, from the Students’ Union and from the institution, and the third element involved student focus groups. Audits were undertaken by NUS external experts and students trained by the NUS.
NUS auditors commented that “the University of Chester and Chester Students’ Union have made significant strides over the past year in their efforts to embed sustainability across the formal and informal curriculum. Through the continuing success and growth of Green Chester, coupled with the leadership demonstrated by Chester Students’ Union, the team at Chester have sparked the beginning of a real transformation around embedding sustainability in the curriculum.” They also noted that “the Responsible Futures working group at Chester is a model of good practice for the sector. Furthermore, the truly student-led nature of the completion of many criteria was a distinguishing factor of Chester’s work”